When I started the blog I knew there would be days that I wouldn’t feel like writing . I asked some friends if they would mind to write a guest post. One of my best friends Stacy is a very talented writer with a blog of her own, Stacy’s Five Cents. We were emailing each other earlier this week when I was feeling really crummy and she sent me this, which I loved. While I do feel a lot better today, I wanted to post this as she’s a much more entertaining writer than myself. Enjoy.
Finding out that Laura has leukemia came as a sudden blow for me, just like it did for you. She told me at the tail-end of a day that I’d considered particularly stressful, for reasons I can’t even remember now. By the end of our conversation, I’d already started what I later dubbed my “re-prayer-itization process.”
Before Laura, I’d never really known anyone with cancer, let alone someone very close to me. Everything changed after that night. It was like the moment after you decide to buy a new car. You suddenly notice that car all over the road – they’re everywhere! Your neighbor even owns one!?! Since February 25, I’ve seen, heard and read more about leukemia than ever before. Or at least, I notice it now. I listen.
But that’s just been my experience coping with leukemia. Thinking about Laura’s experience has been very different.
A few months back, I was heading home from work, which includes driving through a tunnel that passes under a waterway. About a half mile before the mouth of the tunnel, out of nowhere my foot slipped off the clutch and my engine stalled. I was already on the downward slope to the tunnel so my car was still gaining momentum. And I panicked. I knew I could coast for awhile at this speed and I might even be all right for a little while. But I also knew that I’d get stuck at the bottom of the tunnel, when the road sloped back upward. Stuck in a two-lane tube, a half mile underwater. I was scared.
Stop now in this moving line of traffic and restart my car (and risk being honked at, yelled at, shouted at by strangers—hey, I really hate confrontation) or stop down in the dark smoggy depths of the tunnel when my car runs out of momentum? I continued this internal struggle for a considerable amount of time, glancing feverishly at the growing line of commuters in my rearview mirror, hands at ten and two, non-committally tapping my brakes. And all of a sudden, thankfully, traffic in front of me slowed down and forced me to come to a complete stop. On a normal day, I might’ve been frustrated by the traffic jam. But today I was grateful for the chance to safely slow my out-of-control vehicle. I was able to shut down and restart. Only one person honked at me, which I consider a huge success in my neck of the woods.
I think that in some way the insignificant dilemma I faced on the bridge that day is similar to the experience Laura has had in her battle with leukemia. Not that she’s afraid of getting yelled at by strangers (with road rage!), but she’s never been good at sitting still. She’s a do-er. With an adorable growing baby boy, a sweet sweet husband, a full life of family and friends. She likes to go go go. But her vehicle is out of control right now, certainly not handling the way it used to. And while she’s trucking right along, a warning light on the dashboard has come on, and it says slow down. And she wants to—she knows she has to—but at the same time, I know she’s reluctant to step on the breaks. Because sometimes when you let yourself come to a complete stop, building up the momentum to get yourself going again can be just as hard. And scary.
So Laura, as your backseat driver, I’m asking you to please take this time to rest. Come to a complete stop. And unlike the motorists behind me on that bridge, I won’t honk at you to hurry up to get going again. It’s true; you’ve got hundreds of people standing right behind you, but we’re not in a rush to get anywhere. Instead, we’re here waiting to catch you. And when you’re ready, we’ll give you a friendly nudge, a loving push to help get you going again.